Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wait for it...

Just days from now Gabe will be 2!  We can hardly believe it.

I remember meeting with his neurosurgeon before he was born.  At the time he explained to us our baby would likely need a shunt to help manage his hydrocephalus.  When Gabe was born they decided to hold off on the shunt when doing his initial back closure.  There were many tense days in the hospital where they monitored his head circumference.  Measurements were taken at each feeding to see if there was a significant risk and reason to proceed with the shunt surgery.  After a month in the hospital we were sent home with a tape measure and our adorable little “mega mind” for more monitoring. 

When he saw him for the first time, our thorough pediatrician wrote a pop up note on our electronic file that he would personally like to measure his head each time Gabe was in the office for any reason.  A shunt seemed inevitable. 

We returned to HDV often for ultrasound, CT, and MRI scans of Gabe’s brain to carefully measure the percentage of fluid versus brain growth.  We held our breath.  We prayed for miracles.  With each visit to neuro our Dr. would weigh the pros and cons.  He seemed to wrestle with himself, and the options, just below his breath, in the octave where we could sense the hesitation in his thought process even if we didn’t hear it in his statements.

 “let’s wait just 3 more weeks to decide”


“hmmm…3 more weeks”

“well, I guess I want to revisit this in another month”

 “let’s check him again in 2 months”

“the next appointment will be critical.  If there is ventricle growth in his CT scan we will proceed with a shunt.” {note: This is when we took him to Boston for a 2nd opinion and a discussion about proceeding with ETV/CPC instead}

 “if he makes it safely to 1 year he will likely be okay without a shunt” 

"see you in 3 months"

“well, if he doesn’t need intervention by the time he is 2 the chance he will ever need a shunt is about 0%!”

"schedule a 6 month check up"

We recognize the amazing medical advances in shunts allowing doctors to save the lives of children with Spina Bifida.  Along the way we somewhat accepted the idea that Gabe might eventually need intervention. But, this week we are relieved, thankful, and thrilled to finally say...

We have a SHUNT FREE 2 year old!  


  1. yeah!!!! We love you Gabe and you are one very special 2 year old~!

  2. That is just awesome! I am so happy for all of you! I bet Gabe is going to have an even greater birthday party to celebrate!

  3. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  4. Happy Birthday Sweet Gabe Evan!

  5. Praising the Lord with you! I think of Gabe as the miracle child. We continue to hold your family in our prayers. And a belated Happy Birthday to Gabe!

  6. You have been on my mind so much lately, so I am reading and catching up and commenting...even if it is way, way late. So thankful for your little man's progress. Can I just say...Take THAT Spina Bifida! And, just as importantly, I am so happy that your Mama heart may have a little more peace now. The waiting is enough to drive you crazy! Hugs and lots of love!!


We appreciate all of your comments and love.
Encouraged by you,
Gabe & his Momma